Object Details

Statue of Steve Ovett

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Location
Makers
General Information
Classification
Object Parts
Object Condition
History
References
Photographs

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Author: Peter Webster
Copyright for Photograph:

Peter Webster

Location

Street:Preston Road
Town:Brighton
Parish:Brighton
Council:Brighton & Hove City Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN1
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Public Park
Access is:Public
Location note:Perimeter of Preston Park just outside the Rose Garden
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:162
Grid reference:D1
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : Peter Webster
     Role:Sculptor
Company/Group :The Morris Singer Company Ltd.
     Role:Foundry

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General Information

Commissioned by: Brighton and Hove City Council
Commissioned also by: Private sponsors
Construction period:10/02/1983 - 12/02/1987
Installation date:27/05/1987
Unveiling date:31/05/1987
Work is:Lost
Owner custodian:Brighton & Hove City Council
Object listing:Not listed
Description:Life sized bronze depicting Brighton born Olympic athlete Steve Ovett in the running position. Modelled in clay from original photographic and video references and cast in bronze using the lost wax method.
Signatures: Back of bronze base:
Webster
Inscription:At the front of the bronze base:

Steve Ovett

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Classification

Categories:Free Standing, Sculptural
Object type1:Statue
Object type2:Sculpture
Subject type1:Figurative
     Subject subtype1:Full-length
Subject type2:Portrait
     Subject subtype1:Standing

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Object Parts

Part 1:Figure
     Material:Bronze, mid brown patination
     Height (cm):230
Part 2:Plinth
     Material:Concrete

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Poor
Condition 1 of type:Vandalism
     Condition 1: Structural damage
     More details:The sculpture was vandalised and broken at the ankle six weeks after its unveiling but was quickly restored. It was stolen and broken up into pieces during the weekend of 2/3 September 2007.
Condition 2 of type:Surface
     Condition 1: Bird Guano
     More details:Verde Gris colouring from oxidisation and Bird Guano
Date of on-site inspection:30/09/2007

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History

History:At the time, it was the most expensive public sculpture in Brighton, costing private sponsors £25,000.

Steve Ovett (9 October 1955, Brighton - )
Cross-country National Junior Champion in 1975, European Junior Champion over 800 metres in 1973 and gained his first major title winning the 800 metres at the European Championships. He competed in three Olympic Games and won the 800 metre in Moscow 1980. He was also the mile world record holder many times.

The statue was sawn off at the foot and stolen during the weekend of 2 - 3 September 2007. It was broken up into pieces by the thieves in an attempt to melt it down for scrap.
'Sculptor Peter Webster, of Preston Circus, Brighton, who made the lifesize statue 20 years ago, said the find confirmed his fears it had been stolen by scrap metal thieves. He said: ''It's nice to get part of it back but it would be nice to get the whole thing back too. Obviously, they've cut it up to try to melt it in smaller amounts rather than in a big furnace. It's got to melt at about 1,000 degrees and they've got to get it to somebody who's got that facility. Maybe they found out people don't want to get involved, which is nice to hear. ''I'm disappointed it's happened and I would hope it could be returned in some form. If it comes back we could do moulds and remake it. But if it doesn't, it would be impossible to replace as there is no mould. It's a unique one-off for Brighton. ''It's been there for 20 years, and it's been a landmark. It's something people have grown up with. For some people it's been there all their life and it celebrates somebody who got a big name for Brighton when it wasn't getting the publicity it needed at the time.'' Brighton tourism official Tony Hewison commissioned Mr Webster to begin the statue in 1983 and the artist worked solidly for four years to complete it. Sadly, Mr Hewison died before it could be unveiled at the park where Brighton-born Ovett trained. Mr Webster said: ''I was teaching full time at Cardinal Newman school so I spent evenings and weekends making it. ''At the time it was the first sculpture in Brighton for a while. It was probably the first bronze since the Victoria and Peace statues. ''The park was where he trained. On a number of occasions I was walking to school to teach and Steve would run past and we would cross paths. He was a sporting hero of mine and a hero as a person because of what he did for charity and supporting other people.'' Mr Webster estimated the cost of reproducing the statue would be about £30,000.'
(The Argus, Brighton. 'Leg link to statue thief'. Wednesday 5 September 2007)
Hard archive file:Yes

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:The Argus, Brighton
     Type:Newspaper
     Date:04/09/2007

Source 2 :
     Title:'Walk of Fame: Official Guide'
     Type:Book
     Author:Walk of Fame Ltd.
     Date:00/05/2003
     Publisher:Walk of Fame Ltd. Brighton.


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Photographs





Author: Peter Webster
Copyright: Peter Webster




Date: 30/09/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Peter Webster
Copyright: Peter Webster




Author: Peter Webster
Copyright: Peter Webster

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